BioWare finished Mass Effect 3 before working on 'From Ashes' DLC
BioWare is attempting to the right the ship after leaks of Mass Efect 3 DLC From Ashes were made public, leading many to believe BioWare stripped the extra squad member from the full, finished game in order to have something to sell on launch day.
That simply isn't the case, according to Mass Effect 3 producers Casey Hudson and Michael Gamble. Speaking out for the first time, since BioWare "officially" confirmed the Mass Effect 3: From Ashes DLC, both Hudson and Gamble emphasized the game had been finished before work on the DLC began.
"It takes about 3 months from 'content complete' to bug-fix, certify, manufacture, and ship game discs. In that time we work on DLC," Hudson said via Twitter.
"DLC has fast certification and no manufacturing, so if a team works very hard, they can get a DLC done in time to enjoy it with your 1st playthrough on day 1," he added. "On ME3, content creators completed the game in January & moved onto the 'From Ashes' DLC, free with the Collector's Edition or you can buy it separately."
Michael Gamble explained, on the Mass Effect 3 forums, that an entirely separate team worked on the From Ashes DLC.
"The content in “From Ashes” was developed by a separate team (after the core game was finished) and not completed until well after the main game went into certification," Gamble re-emphasized.
**Warning some SPOILERS are below**
According to Gamble, The From Ashes DLC includes: the Prothean squad mate, an adventure on Eden Prime, a new weapon, and an alternate appearance for every squad mate (in addition to the ones already advertised in the Collector's Edition).
Fans are understandably upset at having to pay extra for the day one DLC or for the Collector's Edition (now sold out in most stores) in order to get what sounds like pretty vital content for long-time fans of hte Mass Effect series.
Despite the anger, Gamble defended the DLC, writing, "The Collectors Edition has been advertised from the beginning as containing a bonus character/mission, but we were not at liberty to provide the details."
"The Prothean is optional content that is certainly designed to appeal to long-time fans, which is why he is part of the CE offering (the version many fans would be likely to purchase). Mass Effect 3 is a complete – and a huge game - right out of the box."
Recognizing the game had been sold out in many stores, Gamble defended the company's decision to include it as DLC for those who purchase the Standard Edition.
"The Collectors Edition has been sold out in most places for some time now, and is becoming very hard to find (many players prefer not to purchase the digital version). As such, we wanted to make this content available so that SE buyers could also incorporate the Prothean into their game."
"As always, we are extremely thankful for all of your support. We pulled out all of the stops to make Mass Effect 3 the best game ever, and we can't wait for you all to experience it," Gamble concluded.
According to the leaked marketplace listing, the From Ashes DLC will be available for 800 Microsoft Points. Gamble assured fans they'll be releasing some images and video about the DLC in "the coming days".